accelerate your social media marketing strategies by automating photo moderation
Brands Embrace Social Media
Brands use social media channels to feature user generated content (UGC). this was easy once the various social media channels started providing APIs to access this UGC. As more and more brands began to do this, developers built services to facillitate. Moderation was a requirement in most cases. The process is quite simple, authenticate a user, fetch data from these APIs, parse the response and filter data to return only posts with relevant criteria. Store this data so the user can moderate accordingly. This works really well for most cases and there are many services that facilitate, such as Chute, Olapic and Curelate. Vanessa Kincaid, Design Director at Donna Karan Int'l, spoke at Decoded Fashion in New York. She mentioned an instance where there were some 50k posts to be moderated, and it wasn't possible to do this manually. Manual moderation only works well when the result set in question is reasonably limited.
We can use hashtags to identify brands but it gets a little tricky when trying to identify products. It gets even more tricky if you want to identify products by color, size, style and season. Theoretically it could be done, as long as it's less than 140 characters. Social media experts will tell you not to use more than 2-3 hashtags in a post. Another problem arises as most people aren't willing to share this sensitive information across in their social media channels. Few ladies will volunteer to share their size with the public. If one of your twitter followers shares lots of pictures of them trying on different products, you will probably mute or unfollow. The same goes with other social media channels. These channels are suitable to share a photo here and there, but not too many. In the 'Art of Social Media', Guy Kawasaki says not to share too many selfies on Instagram, just some here and there. We've got to devise a way to feature crowd-sourced customer photos, when shopping online. It's like text comments with visuals.
A Private Channel
This calls for a new channel, a private one. We need a channel where we can take photos of ourselves, input some sensitive data pertaining to the size, and also personal information such as height and other measurements. When the photo looks great, and when I want to.. I can share these in my various social media channels. If it doesn't make the cut, I can still store this photo privately. I can review the photo later, in case I want to order the product. I can also choose to share the photo to this private network to allow other customers shopping for the same product, to see how it looks on me. When people shop for the same product, and they match my body profile, they can view the photos I've shared. When my photo influences them to make the purchase, I can receive commission on that sale. We've now created a marketplace and a potential stream of revenue for participants.
Current Limitations of Content Moderation
Manually moderating posts works when I want to feature a select group of products of a brand. It doesn't work, when I need to associate a significant amount of meta-data with my photo. It doesn't work when I have lots of photos of different people trying on lots of clothes. It doesn't work when I don't want to share my photos with the rest of the internet. In some cases, I need something social media doesn't provide. privacy.